Good leadership is connecting with stories, guest, avid storyteller Graham Brown

Good leadership is how you connect with people and one of the best ways to connect with people is through storytelling.

Graham Brown that’s does brilliantly. A great communicator. He brings forth how storytelling aids leadership.

In business storytelling is not about fairy tales. It’s about creating a connection using empathy. There’s an art and science to storytelling.

One can use one word to communicate change or give a picture of what’s happening. In that word itself lies the story as we all have various analogies in our memory that’s triggered through reading or hearing that word.

As a leader this is very helpful as, often, you do not have a lot of bandwidth to communicate. The necessity of being crisp and clear in getting the message clearly communicated is a vital need. Using a powerful analogy or story helps you do this and gets people to understand what comes next.

If one looks at the psychology of storytelling the brain doesn’t understand the difference between past, present and future. It doesn’t have that concept. It only knows experience.

What powerful stories do and great leaders are able to do is to take an unknown future and connect it with a known past.

As a leader you can use these techniques to create change and help people understand.

Good leadership is good storytelling. It’s about how you take the short form storytelling and package the unknown.

As people we consume stories because it helps us understand information through frames we are very familiar with.

When leaders fail in their communication is when they don’t use a frame people are familiar with. They don’t borrow what works and try and create something new and ends up creating confusion to the reader or listener.

In business there’s this entire psychology of naïve realism that’s present. We stop make believe because we think that’s childish. We flip over to using data and logic. That’s needed yet that’s not what people buy into. People buy into the experience and within that packaging is the data and logic required to aid the decision making.

Today as society and leaders we are challenged to create this connection. A lot of the talk is about the future of work; how do we find meaning; how we create teams in this disconnected world; how do we create voices of diversity and so on. Storytelling is a great way of addressing these. Historically storytelling has been a powerful way of creating connections emotionally.

As a leader be being seen as a human, fallible, imperfect and not having all the answers gives a frame that helps people relate and accept. Leaders have to keep in mind that they are the brand where people are concerned. Be it a founder owner or CEO of a large company.

When it comes to creating and driving change it’s all about how, as a leader, you are able to connect with your people at an emotional level. It’s hard because you don’t see it but you definitely feel it.

Graham can be contacted at:

About the author, Ross

Behavioural leadership coach committed to bringing more soul into business and reducing a leader's stress in managing their people

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